Cadillac's XTS Platinum concept follows in Lexus' footsteps

Cadillac launches its XTS Platinum concept at the 2010 Detroit auto show.

Wayne Cunningham Managing Editor / Roadshow
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine.
Wayne Cunningham

Cadillac XTS Platinum
The XTS Platinum concept is a look at the future of Cadillac's flagship sedan. Sarah Tew/CNET

Cadillac XTS Platinum concept (photos)

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DETROIT--Cadillac's latest concept, the XTS Platinum, looks like an attempt to compete directly with the Lexus LS 600h. Both cars have a hybrid power train, luxury interiors, LED headlights, and all-wheel-drive. If Cadillac brings the XTS to production, its competition will be ready and waiting.

One of Cadillac's stated reasons for building the XTS Platinum is to showcase its Platinum label, previously used for a special edition of the Escalade. Cadillac's Platinum cars get hand-built coachwork, with fine leather, wood, and metal. Given the European cars with which Cadillac wants to compete, this level of luxury is necessary.

But the XTS Platinum is also a serious tech barge, starting off with its plug-in hybrid power train, using a 3.6-liter direct injection V-6 for its gasoline component. The hybrid system is based off that used in the Escalade Hybrid. We noted that Cadillac isn't proposing using a version of the series hybrid system developed for the upcoming Chevrolet Volt. The sedan is supported by Cadillac's Magnetic Ride Control, which uses electro-magnets to adjust the ride quality to driver specifications and road conditions.

Cadillac didn't specify much about the cabin tech, except some innovative new display technologies. The instrument cluster is based on an OLED, with virtual gauges and information. The center stack uses back-out technology, backlit touch areas that fade to black when not in use.